Tools for Tomorrow: Christmas In July
While it may seem crazy to start thinking about the winter holidays in July, there’s actually no better time to get your promotional plan(s) in place! You see, by doing the bulk of your planning and organizing work now, you’ll be freed up to execute on all your fantastic plans then!
Seasonal promotions are all about leveraging the additional traffic that the holiday season brings. So, you should be planning to host special events, run exciting (and meaningful) promotions, sample and demonstrate your most exciting holiday goods, and build awareness of any new products or services.
Here are a few questions to get you started on building your holiday promotional plan:
What’s the Timing?
How long will your holiday promotion(s) last? Setting this foundation creates the framework (and beginning and end dates) for your plan, so you can easily track metrics an efforts during this time.
What Do You Want to Accomplish?
This is a broad question. Do you want to host a toy drive for a local charity? Or, do you want to increase your gift basket orders? What about your annual company holiday party? The time is now to create a holiday calendar. You can make it as detailed as you want (“Assemble faux Christmas tree on [this date]”), and you can even schedule the coordinating blog posts/social media posts to go along with each event or key date.
What Goals Will You Set?
This is a specific question. Take each item or idea from the above “accomplishment” section, and make sure it is an achievable “S.M.A.R.T” goal. S.M.A.R.T goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific. Get down into the nitty gritty. How many toys do you want to collect for which charity, over what period of time, involving what team members and by when? You get the picture.
What Measures Are You Using?
For each goal you set, you need to determine what measures or metrics you will use to track your success. Sales numbers, average ticket amount, customer traffic, transactions, awareness, community connection, some brand building event? If you can’t measure it, you’ll have a hard time judging your success (or failure).
Oh, and one last tip… The holidays are a great time to send out targeted messaging to your customers. However, if you don’t have an up to date customer database, the process can seem overwhelming when it’s time to hit “send” in December. In the coming months, make updating your database a priority. Every time you ring up a customer, ask to verify their contact information. And, look through your records and delete duplicates or outdated customer profiles.
Happy Holiday Planning!